Micro SD for Steam Decks | The best of 2022

Micro SD for Steam Decks | The best of 2022

Valve's new portable console has such a vast catalog of video games to choose from that it probably wouldn't take a lifetime to complete them all, but it has a fundamental problem that is not negligible: memory. Among the three versions of Steam Deck currently available on the market, the 512GB one is the largest; to make you understand, this amount of space is just enough to fit Call of Duty: Warzone, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassins' Creed: Valhalla. In short, even with an immense library, you will soon find yourself having to delete games in order to install others. Fortunately, this annoyance is easily resolved by inserting a Steam Deck compatible Micro SD card.

The more ambitious might think of directly changing the internal SSD in the console (as is possible for PS5), but the M.2 2230 compatible with the Steam Deck is neither easy to find nor cheaper than one Micro SD of the same capacity. Also, tampering with console components will jeopardize the warranty. Therefore, buying a Micro SD is the best solution to be able to expand the memory of the Valve device, and in this guide we will recommend the best available on the market in 2022, as we did for Nintendo Switch.

Micro SD for Steam Deck, the best

Samsung Pro Plus, the best SanDisk Extreme Pro, the fastest Lexar Play, the cheapest SanDisk Ultra, the most versatile Kingston Canvas Go Plus , the reliable alternative

Samsung Pro Plus, the best

Let's start with Samsung, which has created among the best SSD and Micro SD ever; it is therefore no surprise that even the best overall for Steam Deck is from the South Korean company for price and performance. The Samsung Pro Plus is not the cheapest on the market, but it is cheaper than other brands (such as Kingston which we will see later) and has a high speed, which reaches up to 160 MB/s reading, and 120 MB/s s write.

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SanDisk Extreme Pro, the fastest

The SanDisk Extreme Pro is definitely the Micro Fastest SD for Steam Deck you will find on the market in 2022, with read speeds of up to 200MB/s, a good 40MB/s faster than the Samsung Pro Plus. Of course, this improvement in quality is reflected in the price, as the 512 GB version on around – at the time this article was written – about 170 euros. Western Digital claims that their product is also resistant to water and shock (and even x-rays); we clearly don't recommend putting the SD to the test for any of these characteristics, but if it ever falls in the water, know that you won't lose your money.

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Lexar Play, the cheapest

If the Sandisk Extreme Pro cost around 170 euros in the 512 GB version, the Lexar Play costs ten euros less, but for as much as 1 TB of space (while the 512 GB one is around 80 euros). Although it is mainly designed for smartphones and Nintendo Switch, the Micro SD will also work very well in your Steam Deck. Even with a more affordable price point, load times remain fast, with read speeds of up to 150MB/s, so it's definitely a choice to consider if you're on a tighter budget and want plenty of space on your console.

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SanDisk Ultra, the most versatile

The SanDisk Ultra offers a wider catalog of capacities than the Pro Plus, with prices much better and similar to those of the Lexar Play. Obviously, compared to the first Micro SD we have presented to you, this one has a lower reading speed, which reaches up to 120 MB/s; despite this, it is still a great alternative for your Steam Deck, and is often found on sale, so it is not an option to discount.

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Kingston Canvas Go Plus, the reliable alternative

If for some reason none of the previous alternatives has convinced you, we present you a valid alternative, with an excellent quality / price ratio: the Kingston Canvas Go Plus. This Micro SD, which does not exist in the 1 TB format but which reaches a maximum of 512 GB, costs around 120 euros in its more spacious version, with a truly remarkable reading speed, up to 170 MB/s. While primarily designed for cameras, the Micro SD will also work just fine in the Steam Deck, ensuring you download games quickly and smoothly.

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How to choose a Micro SD for Steam Deck

After we have presented you with the five best Micro SD for Steam Deck available on the market in 2022, you may be thinking “how do I choose the right one for me?”, and this part of the guide will help you with just that. As far as compatibility is concerned, the only aspect you will have to worry about is that the SD card respects the UHS-I speed standard, but it is a rather common feature (obviously present in all the ones we have recommended in this article, but there are we'll talk more later), so you won't have difficulty finding one.

However, there are other factors that come into play when choosing a Micro SD, especially when this is needed to greatly expand the memory of a device, as is the case with Steam Deck. We have already mentioned some of these features when talking about the various products, but we will explain them better below, in order to clarify any doubts.


A Micro SD can be of different types: in fact, at the time of purchase you will notice a wording, which can be SDHC, SDXC or SDUC. These letters that accompany the product name are used to categorize them according to memory capacity: SDHC stands for high capacity in English, and indicates SD cards from 4 to 32 GB; SDXC stands for extended capacity and contains memories from 64 GB to 2 TB; finally, there are the SDUCs, which indicate capacities from 2 to 128 TB and are decidedly rarer to find.


Micro SDs exist in various capacities, the most common are: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB. In the case of the Steam Deck, it can contain Micro SD up to 1 TB, and it's up to you to choose the capacity you prefer; obviously, since you will need it to hold games, we advise you to choose it with at least 256 GB, in order to obtain as much space as possible.

Clearly, the larger the Micro SD, the higher its price, so you will have to take into account your budget when choosing the right size.


In addition to the type and capacity, a fundamental factor to consider when buying a Micro SD, especially for the Steam Deck, is the speed, given that the reading time of the video games inserted inside will depend on it. SDs are categorized in three ways: speed class (speed class), ultra high speed class (UHS speed class), and video speed class; each type is in turn divided into different classes, where the lower figures refer to reduced speeds, then going in increasing order.

The class is written on the front of the Micro SD (the small number inside a kind of U). The UHS category is the fastest, where class 1 has a minimum write speed of 10MB/s, while class 3 (the highest) has 30MB/s.

But you may also see a 'another wording in the name of the micro SD, the speed of the bus ( bus speed ). While the speed class refers to the minimum speed, the bus speed indicates the maximum speed. Most SD cards on the market today are either UHS-I (up to 104MB/s) or UHS-II (312MB/s). All of the ones we have presented to you in this article fall into the first category, so it's a factor you need to know, but not crucial if your choice is one of those.

How to use the Micro SD card in Steam Deck

Now that you've chosen which Micro SD to buy for your Steam Deck, you might actually be wondering how to start using it, since it's not enough to insert it into the special slot at the bottom of the console. This is not a long or complicated process, but it is important that you follow each step correctly.

First, insert the Micro SD into the Steam Deck (it doesn't matter if the console is on or off); press the “Steam” button to open the menu on the left side of the screen and go to the settings. Here open the system settings and navigate down until you find the “format Micro SD” option; click on “format” and you will be asked to confirm that you want to format the card, as doing so will erase all data. As the SD is new and unused it still has no saves, so don't worry and just click “Ok”.

Now that the Micro SD is formatted and ready to use you can finally start installing games on it , but first make sure you set it as the default storage location in the settings, under the “Storage” section. Or, if you still haven't downloaded any games to the console, you can decide to keep the internal SSD as default until you fill it up, and then change it to the SD.

The last tip we give you is to use the internal SSD as the storage location of choice for the games you want to load faster, since even if you buy an SD card with fast read times, they will never reach that of the console. Now you really have all the information you need to choose the Micro SD for Steam Deck that best suits your needs, all you have to do is insert it into the console and start playing! If, on the other hand, you have not yet purchased the Valve console and you have read this guide while pondering whether to add it to your cart or not, we advise you to read our review about it.


Finally, we want to tell you about a factor that is often ignored when buying a Micro SD: the brand. If you open any store, the chances of finding several brands offering products of the same type, capacity and speed, perhaps even with similar prices, are high. So, how to choose the best one?

First, avoid choosing very cheap Micro SD cards without a precise name: these have a high possibility of losing data or corrupting them, so it is better to spend some more money rather than having your favorite game saves ruined forever. So opt for the best-known brands such as SanDisk, Lexar, Samsung, Sony and Kingston.

Recommended price

Obviously we could not fail to mention the price, which is a variable to consider in any purchase . In this article we have selected Micro SD cards that have an excellent quality / price ratio, including a more expensive choice and some cheaper ones. Clearly, spending more will give you greater speed, but this does not mean that the other choices are not excellent, on the contrary, it is a minimal difference that will not damage your Steam Deck gaming experience in any way.

So, as long as you choose a Micro SD with a large capacity (therefore not the 8 GB ones to be used in smartphones, to be clear) and with a good reading speed (preferably UHS-I and class 3) you will be purchasing a product more than enough. It is then up to you to decide if you want maximum quality, investing more and having the best on the market.

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